Now that COVID-19 vaccines are widely available, it’s important not to forget about another important and easy vaccination available to help keep you healthy: the flu shot. The flu season in the United States typically lasts from December to February. That means that now is the time to get your vaccine to ensure you are protected once the flu season is in full swing. Many health officials fear that if the US does not have widespread vaccination against the flu this winter, we may face what the New York Times dubbed a “twindemic” with the flu season piling on top of the current COVID-19 outbreak.
To be clear, the flu vaccine will not protect you against COVID-19, but there are still many important reasons to consider getting a flu shot this year. First, in 2019 only about 45% of the US population received a flu shot, leaving more than half of the population unprotected. This led to somewhere between 24,000 and 62,000 flu-related deaths, according to the CDC. Since the viruses that cause the flu and COVID-19 are different, it may be possible to contract both at the same time, which could be catastrophic, especially for those who are already at an increased risk. This means getting a flu shot is an important step you can take to help keep yourself and your loved ones healthy.
In addition, getting your flu shot can be beneficial to your community and the country as a whole. Being vaccinated against the flu will help to reduce your chance of contracting influenza, therefore limiting its spread and protecting those around you. If you do happen to get the flu even after getting a flu shot, generally your symptoms will be much milder. Fewer and less severe infections are especially critical at this time to help reduce the strain on our medical systems. If fewer people are critically ill with the flu, this means more medical resources will be available to those who may be critically ill due to COVID-19.
As you think about getting your flu shot this year, here are a few more things to consider:
- The CDC recommends everyone older than 6 months old receive a flu shot, with only a few rare exceptions.
- Most health insurance plans cover 100% of the cost of a flu shot. Check with your health insurance carrier for details.
- Flu shots are readily available at most doctor’s offices and walk-in clinics. Contact your health care provider for more information.
- You cannot get the flu from the flu shot. Some people do experience mild symptoms after receiving the vaccine, but they typically last only a day or two.
Getting a flu shot this fall, along with being vaccinated against COVID-19 and following recommended safety guidelines, can make a huge impact on not only your own health but that of your friends, family, and your entire community.
The team at Capital Benefit Services is proud to assist you in offering affordable health insurance benefits to your employees and their families. Please call our office at 425-641-8093 to learn more.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Please seek the advice of a qualified medical professional before beginning or ending medical treatment or if you have questions regarding a medical condition.